"Scan me": handheld 3D scanner and 3D printers at Computex 2014

Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute demos its handheld 3D scanner, while XYZ shows off new Da Vinci 3D printers.

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ITRI's handheld 3D scanner in action Nic Healey/CNET

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- If you were worried that the buzz around personal 3D printing was starting to die down, never fear -- it's alive and well at Computex 2014.

The Taiwanese Industrial Technology Research Institute had its handheld 3D scanner on display at its booth in Hall 3. The compact device uses LED infra-red, is accurate up to 0.2mm and scans at five frames per second.

ITRI was demoing the device using a garden gnome on a rotating platform and the 3D scan was quick and -- to my eye -- extremely accurate.

While I was watching, however, some other Computex attendees approached the ITRI team and asked for a more personal demonstration. While one of the chaps stood still, the booth staff scanned his face.

Again, a very quick and accurate result, although my colleague Aloysius Low was less impressed, declaring that the result resembled a "North Korean propaganda statue".

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Accurate scan or propaganda statue? Nic Healey/CNET

ITRI also had a desktop 3D scanner. The Institute doesn't actually sell the devices, but it does license out the IP on its research, so we'd expect this tech to make its way into commercial consumer applications soon.

Just across the walkway, 3D printing mob XYZ had its Da Vinci range of personal 3D printers. We saw the Da Vinci 1.0 back at CES -- at under $500 it's a pretty affordable solution for the home.

XYZ also had the Da Vinci 2.0 and 2.1 on the stand. The 2.0 adds a second extruder head for multi-coloured print jobs, upping the price to $649.

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The Da Vinci 2.1 printer with 5-inch touchscreen. Nic Healey/CNET

The Da Vinci 2.1 goes a step further -- you've still got dual heads, but the printer has built in Wi-Fi and an Android-powered 5-inch touchscreen. This means you can use it as a standalone device, printing from a USB drive or even sending print jobs wirelessly. It's $849 though, which might be edging it out of the average household budget.

 

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